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Artist Spotlight: Meet 'The Voice' Season 15 Champion - Chevel Shepherd

Chevel Shepherd, a 16-year-old female country artist from Farmington, N.M., was crowned champion of “The Voice."
The popular young singer from Team Kelly earned coach Kelly Clarkson her second consecutive “Voice” win on the musical competition series.

As for her name, Chevel, it stems partly from her dad's love of cars (he named her after a Chevy Chevelle), but also because he thought it sounded like a rock star name.

Could Shepherd join the ranks of other country music superstar women who are instantly recognizable by their voice or just by their name, like Reba, Wynona, Shania, Loretta or Dolly? Clarkson thinks so.

"She's unique,," Clarkson at a press conference after Shepherd's win. "She stands out. There’s a lot of people that can sing country music but not a lot of people are country music. Literally, they are almost born, like, coming out of the womb sounding like Loretta Lynn. There is an element that I do dearly miss about country music - women. There's like two of them on the charts, and also, it's just the fact that it's -- I want to actually expand upon that because a lot of those women changed my life. Like, Reba, Trisha, Faith, Martina Patty, The Judds, Wynonna when she went alone. All these women changed my life as a singer, and I think that's why I got so teary-eyed watching [Chevel] last night. It's like we need that. Little girls need people in every genre of music to look up to and to admire and to aspire to be and all of that."

Shepherd's original single is "Broken Hearts” was co-written by three of Nashville’s hottest songwriters – Shane McAnally, Ashley Arrison, and Aben Eubanks and has landed at #1 on the iTunes Overall Songs chart and the Country Songs chart.  

Shepherd's career is off to a good start, having dueted with Clarkson and later with rising Grammy-nominated country music duo Dan + Shay. Together, they sang the duo’s single “Speechless,” which is currently the #1 song on Billboard Hot Country and #1 on country radio. "Dan + Shay are amazing," Shepherd said about performing with the country duo. "They're the nicest guys you will ever meet, and Shay can really sing. So they both can sing really, really well, as you saw, and I wasn't nervous. They're so easy to get along with. You can be yourself, and [they are] just so down to earth and real."

Country music means a great deal to the 16-year-old she began singing at the age of 2.

"I've been listening to country music since I was tiny, tiny -- I'm still tiny, but tinier," Shepherd told TVMusic Network. "I just love the story behind it and how you can put yourself in the lyrics even if you haven't had your heart broken. You can really just tell the story of the song to people, and people really listen to that, and they really just relate to that. I love country music. I love the story
behind it, and it has so much heart."

"The Voice" Season 16 with coaches Clarkson, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and newest coach John Legend, premieres Monday, February 25, 2019 on NBC. 

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